Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bangles And Baubles And Beads, Oh My!

I have always dabbled in jewelry making. When I was little, I would tie dandelions together to make beautiful rings, necklaces, and bracelets...I think every little girl has done that at some time or another. Unfortunately after about 30 minutes these natural beauties start to wilt. I made a couple of copper pieces in college. Looking back, they were really ugly.

After college, one of my roommates from my time at Mercer University, and I tried our hand at jewelry making. Mary and I would cut the tops off of beer or soda cans, smash them flat with a hammer, use hot glue to make designs on them, then paint them and hang beads from them. Sounds lovely right? Hey, it was the 80's! A time of big hair, big shoulder pads, and yes, big earrings. We actually sold a few!

When Kevin and I were living in Cincinnati, I would make earrings out of paintings I did with watercolor. I would tear the painting into small pieces, then fold it and seal it with something to make it hard and shiny. Once again, not something you'd wear now, but they were okay for the time period. I actually had a store buy them from me and was so excited! I didn't get rich by any means. I probably spent more in time and supplies than I made. Nonetheless, I enjoyed making them and was happy that someone else liked them too.

As much as I'd like to be a great jewelry designer, that's just not my thing. Oh, I make and sell some pieces here and there but nothing to call a real jewelry business. Especially not like my friend Cheryl. She started making mommy bracelets about 14 or so years ago. She has actually made a business that earns a living! She fortunately has not only talent, but business sense. Check her website out at

As for me, I'll just keep dabbling. Below is a project for a bangle bracelet I like to call Ooh La La. It's very, very easy so give it a try!!!

Wooden bangle from
Acrylic paint. I used Folk Art in Lipstick Red.
Rubber Stamp.
Ink Pad. Do not use one that is washable or it will smear when you seal it.
Diamond Glaze or any sealer.
Pendant or charm.
E6000 glue.


Step 1:    Paint the wooden bangle with acrylic paint. I painted 3 coats to get good coverage. If you use a different color you may only need to do one or two coats. Red is always the hardest color to get good coverage. If you want a more natural look. you could stain the bangle or leave it plain. Allow paint to dry completely between coats.

Step 2:    Once your bangle is dry, put ink on your stamp and begin stamping the bangle until you have covered the entire bangle with your stamp design.

Step 3:   Seal your bangle inside and out with Diamond Glaze or a polyurethane of your choice.

Step 4:   Put E6000 glue on the back of the charm or pendant and place it onto the bangle.

Step 5:   Wear and Enjoy!!! Told you it was easy!!!

Here is another bangle bracelet...I glued scrapbook paper to the inside of the bangle then hand painted the outside with designs found in the paper.

Thank you to my daughter, Carrie, for being an awesome photographer!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And so it begins...

I have been talking about starting a blog for about a year now! After three days of being  snowed/iced in, I decided why not now? I have spent these days of being stranded at home keeping busy with some art projects. Of course, a lot of my time has been spent thinking of all the things that would help with these art projects if I could go to the craft store or the thrift shop! Instead I have been "making do" with things I have around the house. It's not like I don't have a stock pile of "stuff" to keep me busy for a year!!!

I have been artsy/craftsy for as long as I can remember. When I was little, while other kids were setting up lemonade stands, I was selling paintings. My sweet, supportive mother would string fishing line from pine tree to pine tree and then she would lovingly hang my art pieces with clothes pins. The neighbors would stop by and pay a nickel for my masterpieces. And then there came The Pet Rock! Remember those? I remember spending hours searching the backyard for the perfect rock to transform into a pet. To this day, when I see something, I think, "I CAN MAKE THAT!"

My plan all along for starting a blog is to have a place to share projects, tips, and ideas for art and craft projects. I hope to have some of my artistic friends (you know who you are!) to share some projects too. I love to have friends over for craft night at my house. I'll share those projects and pictures as well. So girls, don't forget your lip gloss because you may end on the world wide web! I promise I'll let you "approve" the picture before I post it! I'm sure you would do the same for me!

I'm going to jump right in with a project for Valentine's Day. This project uses discarded paper from my shredder, fabric stiffener, E6000 glue, acrylic paint, and stretched canvas. You will also need a large ziplock bag and wax paper.

Step 1:     Take 2 generous hand fulls of shredded paper and place it in a ziplock bag.

 Step 2:    Pour STIFFY fabric stiffener into bag a little at a time. It's easy to judge if you need to add more. If you add too much, then just add a little more paper. STIFFY is made by PLAID and can be found in the craft store in the glue section. You can also used Mod Podge for this step. If you choose to use Mod Podge, you will need to add it to the bag first, mix in a little water so it's not so thick, and then add your paper. I have used both techniques and they work equally as well.

 Step 3:    Close the ziplock bag and knead until the paper has been saturated with the STIFFY.

Step 4:    Remove saturated paper from bag and begin to form it into a heart. This part is messy so roll up your sleeves and have fun! The clean up is easy...just wash your hands with soap and water. Once you have your desired shape, place it on a sheet of wax paper to dry. You can tweak your shape easily once you lay it down. Once your heart appears to be dry, then turn it over and give the bottom time to dry. Your heart should be completely dry within 12 to 24 hours.

Step 5:    While you are waiting for your heart to dry, paint your canvas. For this project, I painted a 6" x 6" canvas with  AMERICANA acrylic paint in Deep Burgundy. You may need several coats of paint depending on the look you want. Reds are always harder to get complete coverage. For this project I did 3 coats.

Step 6:    Once your heart and canvas are dry, use E6000 to adhere the heart to the canvas.

It's as easy as that! Your heart will be the perfect gift for someone special even if the someone special is yourself!!!

Here is another project I did using the same technique. I painted the 6" x 12" canvas black and added Scrabble tiles (also using E6000) to the top. The possibilities are endless, so give it a try and let me know how you did. I'd love to see pictures!

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Look for new projects coming soon!

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